YES PURPLE, NO RED: Gov. Larry Hogan Thursday pulled the plug on the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail project that Baltimore officials and business leaders have called crucial to the region’s economic development, but he said he would back a slimmed-down plan to build the Purple Line in suburban Washington, D.C., according to the Daily Record.
- Dave Collins of WBAL-TV offers a detailed video report on the announcements, including reaction over the Red Line decision.
CITY LOSES ON RED LINE: Dashing Baltimore’s hopes for a long-anticipated east-west light rail line to improve its transit network, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will not build the $2.9 billion Red Line across the city, report Michael Dresser and Luke Broadwater for the Sun. “We are not opposed to public transportation. We are opposed to wasteful boondoggles,” the governor said. “The Red Line as currently proposed is not the best way to bring jobs and opportunity to the city.”
- Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports that in announcing about $2 billion in transportation projects Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan’s Twitter account sent out a map and a message describing the capital projects throughout Maryland, saying: “Our transportation plan will provide infrastructure improvements to every single county in Maryland!” But the map did not include Baltimore City, which will receive none of the projects. In fact, the image made the city look like it was underwater as part of the Chesapeake Bay.
- Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said that the Red Line proposal “is a fatally flawed project that frankly needs to be set aside.” But that is a move Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says ignores the needs of its residents, Emily Bregel reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.
- Bregel of the BBJ gets reaction from Baltimore business leaders on Hogan’s decision, which she writes “dealt a blow to supporters who saw the 14.1-mile light rail extension as a means to boost job opportunities and reinvigorate Baltimore’s economy. Don Fry, CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, took issue with state officials’ criticism of the $2.9 billion rail proposal as flawed and wasteful.”
A SLIMMER PURPLE LINE: Gov. Larry Hogan gave tentative approval Thursday to a slimmed-down version of the Purple Line, setting aside his own long-standing skepticism of costly transit projects to support a 16-mile light-rail line that backers say will rejuvenate inner-suburban neighborhoods in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, Robert McCartney, Joshua Hicks and Bill Turque are reporting in the Post.
- The Republican governor made his decision after months of speculation about whether he’ll kill the $2.45 billion light-rail project, Andrew Metcalf reports in Bethesda Magazine.
- Political and business leaders and transit advocates in Maryland’s Washington suburbs mostly exhaled on Thursday after Hogan announced he was willing to let a less costly version of the light-rail Purple Line go forward. But there was worry, too — especially in Prince George’s County, where political leaders expressed concern about Hogan’s demand that their county and neighboring Montgomery pick up a greater share of the project’s costs, Bill Turque and Arelis Hernández write in the Post.
- The Post publishes excerpts of Hogan’s announcements on the Purple Line and roads spending on Thursday.
PURPLE LINE REACTION: Aaron Kraut and Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Magazine compile reaction from politicians and citizens over Hogan’s approval of the Purple Line, not all of it positive.
PURPLE LINE HISTORY: Louis Peck of Bethesda Magazine offers up a timeline history of the Purple Line, starting way back in 1983.
ARUNDEL PROJECTS OK’D: Hogan also announced $145 million in road construction money that will flow into priority projects in Anne Arundel County, writes Chase Cook in the Annapolis Capital. Hogan said the state will spend about $1.97 billion on transportation projects that will benefit local jurisdictions — including reducing congestion near Fort George G. Meade and on Route 50 at Severn River Bridge.
RX POT INDUSTRY: The long-awaited rules governing the sale of medical marijuana in Maryland have entered the home stretch with their official printing Friday in the Maryland Register, a move that could make the drug available to patients sometime next year, Meredith Cohn is reporting for the Sun.
HOGAN TREATMENT STARTS: Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will spend four days in intensive care at the University of Maryland Medical Center starting Monday to receive chemotherapy to treat his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
- Michael Dresser of the Sun writes that, at a State House news conference on transportation issues, Hogan said his doctors have determined through bone marrow testing that he has Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, not Stage 4 as he had suggested was possible earlier this week. “It makes my chances much, much better,” Hogan said.
- State troopers and civilian personnel at the Maryland State Police Easton Barrack, which serves Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties, pulled together Thursday, June 25, to let Gov. Larry Hogan know the barrack supports while he undergoes treatment for B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, reports Kate Willis for the Easton Star-Democrat.
- Elected leaders can be pretty brave facing severe illness or even death. Ronald Reagan wanted to know if his surgeon was a Republican after John Hinckley shot him, according to Fraser Smith at WYPR.
COP MISCONDUCT DISCLOSURE EXEMPTED: Internal records related to a police officer’s misconduct cannot be disclosed to the public and are exempt from the Maryland Public Information Act, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The question before the state’s highest court centered on whether citizens have a right to know the outcome and other information about an investigation once misconduct allegations are sustained. Mark Puente of the Sun writes that in a 5-2 ruling, the court said the law exempts personnel information from disclosure and does not differentiate between “sustained” and “unsustained” complaints.
- In the meantime, Anne Arundel County police investigated 78 complaints against its officers last year — including 31 for excessive force — and determined a third were valid, a new report shows. The department has detailed the number of complaints and statistics on use of force in a series of reports posted on its website as it works with African American community leaders on a number of concerns, Ben Weathers reports for the Annapolis Capital.
ASSAULT GRANT ISSUED: An AP story in the Sun reports that the state of Maryland is helping colleges meet the requirements of a new law aimed at improving their response to sexual assaults on campus. The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention announced a $71,000 grant Wednesday to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The funds will help pay a lawyer to train colleges, rape crisis centers and police agencies on the new requirements.
25 NEW GOP STARS TO WATCH: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland does what the Maryland GOP failed to do by inviting Donald Trump to its Red, White and Blue Dinner the other night: Give those up and coming local Republican stars their chance to shine. And there are a lot of them, too.
PREZ HOPEFULS IN MD: WYPR-FM’s Fraser Smith and Todd Eberly, of the political science department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, talk about Republican presidential candidates’ sudden interest in Maryland.
PARK SERVICE PULLS SOME REBEL ITEMS: Workers at Antietam National Battlefield took Confederate flags, T-shirts and magnets off gift shop shelves Thursday as the National Park Service announced plans to stop selling some items with the increasingly controversial symbol. Park service officials said they would stop “stand-alone depictions” of the familiar battle flag, while educational items such as books, exhibits, and media showing re-enactments and interpretive programs may use the images “in its historical context,” Christina Jedra and Jessica Anderson report for the Sun.
TU’S LOESCHKE DIES: Maravene Loeschke, the former Towson University president who was recalled for her years in theater and as a mentor to students, died Thursday at Gilchrist Hospice Care. She was 68 and had been diagnosed with adrenal cancer last year.Dr. Loeschke became her alma mater’s 13th president in January 2012, Jacques Kelly reports for the Sun.
- A Baltimore native, Loeschke attended Parkville High School. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s of education degree from Towson University in 1969 and 1971, respectively, and a doctorate from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Loeschke spent more than three decades on the Towson campus as a professor, chair of the Department of Theater Arts, and dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, Katelyn Newman writes in the Daily Record.
LAZARICK ON OKINAWA: Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM talks about World War II with Brian Murphy of the Washington Post and Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com. Murphy addresses an aviator’s survival in the Alaskan wilderness; Lazarick, whose father served in the infantry, discusses the brutal battle of Okinawa that ended 70 years ago this week.